Attorney General, Facebook reps tell students to be safe online

Columbia, SC (WACH)--Hundreds of students at Richland Northeast High School got a dose of reality about the risks of posting content and not checking privacy settings on Facebook.

Senior Chardonnay Ismail knows the dangers first hand.

"My account was hacked about a couple of months ago. It freaked me out a little bit. I had to go through and change my password and update my privacy settings. It can be a scary thing."

Ismail, an aspiring news reporter, knows her account is one of the first pieces of information employers will look at. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson told students what you post on social networking sites can make all the difference in getting a job. It can also land them in trouble.

"It can be turned on you if you are not aware how you can give out information about yourself. Harmless photos can tell information about a student. We want them to be aware on how that information can be used against them."

Wilson said his office has responded to thousands of cyber bullying and harassment cases over the years; as well as predators preying on victims.

Facebook External Affairs Assistant Manager Brooke Oberwetter showed students several new features to stay protected.

"You can set the privacy content as they write it or as they create it," Oberwetter said. "Know who the people you are becoming friends with on facebook are. Making sure you know them in real life because you are sharing a whole lot of information with them."

Tips Ismail will share with her younger brother and sister.

"There are lots of things that can happen to people, especially teenagers because we are on the internet the most. And we are probably the most vulnerable as well."

Something she and her classmates hope they can now change.

Wilson and the Facebook representatives also visited students in Greenville, South Carolina later in the day.